Chris Wesseling

Offseason Low Down

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Offseason NFL Mailbag

Wednesday, April 20, 2011




Q: @Joe_Wirth Peyton Manning: At what point should an owner look to trade him away to maximize value? Am I already too late?

Q: @MJP0ke Love the column idea! With Brady and Manning getting long in the tooth, what young guns are next? Can anyone ever compare?


A: Resist the urge, especially if you have a contending roster. Make it your goal to develop Manning's successor instead. With top-six QB finishes for twelve straight seasons, Manning is the most consistently valuable player in the history of fantasy football. The Colts will upgrade the O-Line in the draft, and Manning could have a receiving corps on par with his record-setting 2004 season if Austin Collie stays healthy. I would bet the best statistical QB in NFL history has 4-to-5 more top-six finishes in his holster, and I'm not a fan of looking beyond three years in Dynasty league trades.

Yes, playing the stock market is a must for consistent winning in Dynasty and keeper leagues. You have to successfully buy low and sell high. Remember the first law of Dynasty, though: Winning. Every year. Trading a weekly advantage at QB isn't going to get you closer to putting another trophy on the mantle.

Fantasy-wise, there's not going to be a player that compares to Manning's career arc. I like Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Josh Freeman as the most likely to join the top tier. Bradford gets a major boost from Josh McDaniels' offense but needs a talent infusion at receiver. Ryan and Flacco also need help from their teams' front offices to make the leap. Freeman has to duplicate last season's success against a more difficult schedule. If Matthew Stafford can stay in one piece, he has a realistic shot at 30 TDs in a breakout season. If you want a darkhorse candidate, remember that Tim Tebow led the league in fantasy points over the final three weeks of the season -- his first three NFL starts.

Q: @MJP0ke I live for this! Other Q's: How good can AJ Green be? What rookie RB do you like the most in draft? CJ2K in trouble with no QB?

Q: @ericktumang Who's the best rookie RB to grab in a dynasty league, talent-wise?


A: Like Jon Gruden, I believe Green is the "clear-cut" top receiver in this year's draft. He's not a once in a blue moon talent like Calvin Johnson (or even Dez Bryant), though. A common mistake Dynasty leaguers make is believing that there must be at least one beast at wide receiver and running back in every draft. Talents like Adrian Peterson and Megatron don't come along every year. It's what makes them special. And anointing pretenders as the next great thing only leads to more owners sleeping when the real deal comes along. To answer your question, I would rank Green in the top-15 area as a Dynasty league wide receiver right now. I had Dez just inside the top-10 coming into the league and Calvin in the top-5.

When drafting rookie running backs, consider the lay of the land in modern-day backfields. Now more than ever, mid-to-late round backs are keeping pace with the their first-round brethren. Where the good drafters peel away from poor drafters is analyzing team fit and reports out of OTAs/training camp. With the caveat that choosing a top back before the draft is an exercise in futility (barring an Adrian Peterson-level talent), I'm still leaning toward Mark Ingram. For a back who dominated the nation's best conference, Ingram has been over-scrutinized -- in the usual smokescreen fashion -- leading up to the draft.

CJ2K doesn't have a QB in place, but he'll have a veteran (Matt Hasselbeck or Marc Bulger?) and an early-round rookie in Nashville by the time training camp rolls around. With coach Mike Munchak promising more creative play-calling and coordinator Chris Palmer hanging his hat on the running game, Johnson will bounce back in 2011. Book it.

Q: @MJP0ke My own team Q for you: I have CJ2K and Jonathan Stewart kept. Should I keep Blount and/or Bradshaw? OR I could also trade one or both and my rookie pick for the 1st rookie pick and grab Green to compliment Megatron and Dez. Keepers: not due til week before our draft at the end of August. Circle back then?

A: Yes, circle back in August. The values of Blount and Bradshaw are heavily dependent on the draft and free agency respectively. At the same time, if you can package Blount and your rookie pick for the 1.01 to grab Green, I'd pull the trigger. It's worth the risk if it leaves you with Johnson, Stewart, and Bradshaw at running back.

Q: @jrbaillargeon What 3 would you pick in keeper redraft? Vick, Hillis, Blount all count as round 13, V-Jax 7th round, M. Wallace 5th round. Keepers are due a week prior to draft and players move up 2 rounds per year. Other players of value are Starks and McKnight.I can trade for picks.

A: Vick is a no-brainer. V-Jax and Wallace has a sizable talent edge on Hillis and Blount, but your league's system gives the edge to the backs in this case. If I had to make the call right now, I'd keep Hillis and Blount in the 13th. The opportunity to keep them again next year in the 11th round is too much to pass up.

Q: @DaGreatBuddha Auction keeper, can keep 2: Hillis 1%, Blount 1%, Britt 1%, D-Jax 15%, Megatron 23%, D.Bryant 2%. Keepers are due in September, but obsessing is the only football I have right now.

A: See what the lockout has wrought? Again, so much can change as the result of the draft, free agency, and even a potential suspension for Britt. I think Dez is a no-brainer in a keeper league at two percent. The second pick is close enough for coin-flip territory between Hillis, Blount, and Britt, with the deciding factors being scoring system and league keeper trends / position scarcity. Ask me again in August.

Q: @TheSpecialMan Keeper league, need to pick two to keep (pick I must give up included) Ahmad Bradshaw (3rd), Hakeem Nicks (4th), V-Jax (8th), Miles Austin (15th)

A: Miles Austin is the no-brainer here. Nicks is more valuable in Dynasty than V-Jax, but he's far from certain to outscore him in 2011. I'd go with Jackson considering the difference in draft picks surrendered in a keeper league.

Q: @TheJewru Would you consider moving MJD for Nicks in a PPR league, with 3 RB 3 WR?

A: In a PPR format? Yes. Jones-Drew is progressing nicely in his rehab from meniscus surgery, but any mention of a "bone-on-bone" condition still gives me the willies. The Jaguars found an excellent backup in Rashad Jennings last year, and I expect his role to steadily grow at the expense of Jones-Drew's consistency the next couple of seasons. Nicks has 100-catch, double-digit TD potential on an annual basis for the next five years.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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